Wednesday 13 December 2017

A great chance to appreciate a true Irish colossus

George Bernard Shaw:
a true Renaissance man
George Bernard Shaw: a true Renaissance man

• As the article on George Bernard Shaw (Irish Independent, May 26) highlighted, GBS was a true Renaissance man -- a man of letters who wrote more plays than Shakespeare; an arts critic; an ardent socialist with a keen interest in politics; an arch polemicist; a keen and prolific amateur photographer; a standard-bearer for the rights of the poor and the oppressed; a co-founder of the world renowned London School of Economics; and -- the subject of your article -- a man with a fascination for boxing and a frequent correspondence and close friendship with Gene Tunney, former undefeated heavyweight champion of the world (1926-1928).

Shaw certainly lived up to the title of one of his classic plays, 'Man and Superman'. He was the only person to receive both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar for his work.

However, Shaw was a reluctant recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, as this typically Shavian comment surely attests: "I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend could have invented the Nobel Prize."

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